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Inside Scoop: The transition to D-II

Northwestern Oklahoma State just completed their first transitional season moving up from NAIA to Division II. Head coach Alan Hall spent a few minutes with us discussing the season, the challenges of moving up and gives some advice for how they have dealt with the matter in recruiting. 




Inside the film room at Penn State

Hiring a quality video coordinator is will make your entire operation run smoothly. The really good ones have the practice film ready for coaches within minutes of walking off of the practice field.

"Video, in football, is your primary teaching tool," O'Brien points out in the clip. "That's really how I, in many ways, prepare the football team for the opponent that we're playing."

In short, getting the right guy in place allows your coaches to focus on coaching.

O'Brien and the staff believe that they have that guy in Jevin Stone.

As Stone points out, his duties go beyond just filming practices and games. They also film every single college football game on Saturdays so that coaches can pick out a specific play from any game that the staff may have caught a glimpse of and really liked (like a fake punt or field goal for example), and be able to break it down and look to implement it for the Nittany Lions.

"When you do this job as a video guy, you have to look at football in a different manner than you would any other way." Stone explains.

Here's a good look behind the scenes.




Video that Utah State watched before taking on LA Tech

Gary Andersen has done an impressive job out at Utah State transforming the Aggies (9-2, 5-0) from a struggling program into WAC champions. Their 48-41 overtime victory over a ranked Louisiana Tech on Saturday is a great barometer of how far the program has come.

Here is the video that the guys at Utah State watched before kickoff to help get them focused and hyped up for the big game. The win over the Bulldogs secured at least a share of the WAC title for the Aggies, and a win this weekend against Idaho will give them their first outright conference title since 1936.

With evertything that Andersen and his staff have been able to accomplish in just four seasons, his name will continue to be brought up as the coaching carousel continues to turn.




Monday TV - Chicago at San Francisco

Chicago takes on San Francisco out in the Bay Area tonight. We'll have three games between Tuesday and Thursday this week, followed by ten televised games on Friday.

Eastern time is listed.

NFL:

Chicago at San Francisco - 8:30 - ESPN

College:

No games

High School:

No games




Notes on Tennessee AD Dave Hart's press conference

Following this morning news of the firing of Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley, Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart held a news conference. Here were our takeaways from the 30-minute session. 

- Hiring a head coach with integrity is paramount for Tennessee. In case you missed it, the NCAA recently announced more sanctions for violations committed by Lane Kiffin's staff. The Vols will need a head coach with a clean reputation. Bobby Petrino and Butch Davis need not apply. 

- Hart said that hiring a coach with previous head coaching experience is "critically important". Hart believes Tennessee is an attractive job but is also realistic about the issues the next head coach will inherit. He mentioned multiple times that he's looking for a strong leader, and past head coaching experience figures to be a requirement.

- Hart declined to offer a specific timeline for hiring a new coach, but mentioned the month of December several times when offering his preferred time frame. 

- Hart will spend the next week delegating assignments to offensive coordinator Jim Chaney, the interim head coach, and recruiting coordinator Darin Hinshaw, who will be charged with keeping as much of the Vols' current recruiting class intact as possible. 

- Hart said he had discussed the state of the program with others for several weeks but wanted to give the players every chance possible to make a bowl game, and give Dooley and his staff every available chance to turn the corner. 

 




FCS playoff bracket announced

The NCAA announced the FCS playoff bracket this afternoon. We'll post the full bracket as soon as it becomes available. 

Top Five Seeds

1. North Dakota State (10-1)

2. Eastern Washington (9-2)

3. Montana State (10-1)

4. Old Dominion (10-1)

5. Georgia Southern (8-3)

SIDE 1

Eastern Illinois vs. South Dakota State (3 p.m. ET Saturday, ESPN3) - winner gets North Dakota State

New Hampshire vs. Wofford (Dec. 1). Winner gets the winner of NDSU vs. Eastern Illinois/South Dakota State

Bethune-Cookman vs. Coastal Carolina (2 p.m. ET Saturday, ESPN3) - winner gets Old Dominion

Central Arkansas vs. Georgia Southern (Dec. 1). Winner gets the winner of ODU vs. Bethune-Cookman/Coastal Carolina

SIDE 2

Villanova vs. Stony Brook (Saturday 3 p.m. ET, ESPN3) - winner gets Montana State

Cal Poly vs. Sam Houston State (Dec. 1). Winner gets the winner of MSU vs. Villanova/Stony Brook

Colgate vs. Wanger (Saturday noon ET, ESPN3) - winner gets Eastern Washington

Illinois State vs. Appalachian State (Dec. 1). Winner gets the winner of EWU vs. Illinois State/Appalachian State

 




Derek Dooley has been fired

Tennessee lost 41-18 to Vanderbilt last night. This morning Derek Dooley has been let go. 

It's not that simple, but it's not much more complicated.

Dooley leaves the program with a 15-21 overall record, 4-19 in the SEC. For the second straight season they will not play in a bowl game...something that hasn't happened to this program in over 30 years. 

There will be a press conference this afternoon at which AD Dave Hart will explain his thinking and his thoughts on the path forward for the program. Multiple reports out of Knoxville say that Dooley will not coach against Kentucky (his decision per reports) and that offensive coordinator Jim Chaney will. 

We'll keep you updated. 

Official announcement from Tennessee:

"We very much appreciate the effort and energy that Derek Dooley and his staff have poured into our football program at the University of Tennessee," said Hart. "Derek and I met early this morning, and I informed him that I believed a change in leadership, despite the positive contributions he has made to the overall health of the program, was in the best long-term interests of Tennessee football. We will immediately begin the search for the best possible candidate to assume this leadership role."

And from Dooley:

"I am sorry we could not generate enough wins to create hope for a brighter future," said Dooley. "Although progress was not reflected in our record, I am proud of the strides we made to strengthen the foundation for future success in all areas of the program.

"During the last 34 months, I've given my all for Tennessee, and our family appreciates all this University and the Knoxville community has given us."

 




Coaches of the Week - Week 12

After yet another wild Saturday of college football, which coaches stood above the rest and gave their teams the biggest advantage? Find out in our Week 12 FootballScoop Coaches of the Week.

Head Coach of the Week - Art Bries, Baylor: In his fifth season in Waco, Art Briles continues to transform the DNA of Baylor football. Briles' team earned its first victory over a No. 1-ranked team, and first sub-.500 team to beat a BCS No. 1, and did so by 28 points. Baylor controlled the game for all 60 minutes, scoring first, constructing a 28-7 lead and, when Kansas State pulled within 35-24, ripping off 21 straight points to put the game out of reach. Kansas State, which had imposed its will physically on 10 straight opponents, was dominated at the line of scrimmage as Baylor out-rushed the Wildcats 342-76. Phil Bennett's defense also forced Heisman Trophy front-runner Collin Klein off his game as he threw for 286 yards and two touchdowns, but needed 50 passes (and 23 incompletions) to get there, with a season-high three interceptions. 

Offensive Staff of the Week - Michigan: The Wolverines didn't do anything spectacular in their 42-17 win over Iowa, but this award honors their methodical demolition of the Hawkeyes defense. The Wolverines' first six drives of the game went as follows: 12 plays, 70 yards, touchdown; seven plays, 79 yards, touchdown; eight plays, 85 yards, touchdown; seven plays, 87 yards, touchdown; 11 plays, 81 yards, touchdown; and six plays, 60 yards, touchdown. That's 452 yards on 51 plays (8.86 yards per play) of unrelenting execution from Al Borges' offense. Junior quarterback Devin Gardner got the start and completed 18-of-23 passes for 314 yards with three touchdowns and an interception while rushing nine times for 37 yards and three more scores. With regular starting quarterback Denard Robinson nursing a wrist injury, Michigan utilized him at running back (13 carries for a team-leading 98 yards) and wide receiver (two catches for 24 yards). 

Defensive Staff of the Week - Stanford: Not since Chip Kelly's first game had Oregon been held to 14 points or less, a span of 50 games. In fact, the Ducks came in to Saturday night riding an NCAA-record streaks of 13 straight games of 40 points or more and 23 straight games of 30 points or more, but none of that mattered in Stanford 17-14 overtime win in Eugene. Over four quarters plus overtime, Stanford held Oregon under its 2012 first quarter scoring average. Derek Mason's defense forced Oregon to punt eight times, matching a season high and held the Ducks to a season-low 405 yards of total offense. Stanford committed three turnovers, but the Cardinal's defense limited Oregon to no points off those takeaways. 

Special Teams Unit of the Week - LSU: Trailing 35-28 in the fourth quarter, a sputtering LSU offense faced a long field ahead of it until Odell Beckham returned an Ole Miss punt 89 yards for a game-tying touchdown. "Everyone had their block, everyone had their man and everyone covered their assignments," Beckham said following the return. Beckham's score completely swung momentum of the game as LSU would eventually win the game, 41-35. Drew Alleman nailed two-of-three field goal attempts and, despite another Les Miles coming up empty on another gamble, made all three of the extra points he actually attempted. Brad Wing boomed five punts for a 44.8-yard average with three pinned inside the 20, and the special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey's coverage units did not allow Ole Miss any significant returns. 

Call of the Week - Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia: It may not have resulted in a win, but Oklahoma had no answer for Holgorsen's decision to play wide receiver Tavon Austin at running back. Austin, who had carried the ball 14 times for 103 yards thus far this season, rushed 21 times for a school-record 344 yards and two touchdowns. Coupled with his four receptions for 82 yards and his eight kickoff returns for 146 yards, Austin's 572 all-purpose yards were school and Big 12 records and came just six yards shy of tying the NCAA record.